We continue our look at the lessons from J. D. Greear’s study, Gospel Revolution, with a look at the second part of the Gospel Prayer – “Your presence and approval are all I need for everlasting joy.” The study this week looks at our idolatry and how Jesus is a better answer than anything else we have put in His place. It calls for us to take a critical look at what we love more than Him, spend more of our time or money on that His worship, and repent.
Question of the week: Philippians 4:4 calls for a life of rejoicing, which is the kind of life we long for. Joy is found in worshiping God. What does that look like in your life? How do you rejoice in the Lord during even the most monotonous or painful seasons of your life?
In thinking about this question, my thoughts immediately go to the time our youngest daughter ran away from home. I wish that I could say that my first, or even second, reaction was to worship God. My first reaction was anger and my second was to seek out my own faults that led to what had happened. Both of these were destructive to me and made the situation worse for our family.
It was in God’s word that I found answers that changed me, my perspective of the events and circumstances, and provided hope for the future. It was not that I did not already know the scriptures, but rather, that I was reminded of His promises, love, and guidance.
Through His word, He reassured me that I did not need to worry about the troubles of this world because He had already overcome the world (John 16:33). I was assured that everything would work out because He works all things for good for those that love God (Romans 8:28). That while I may not understand what was happening, that His ways were not like my ways (Isaiah 55:8) and that I could trust Him (2 Corinthians 3:4, Matthew 12:21).
In concentrating on God as I found His character, provision, promise, love, and hope through His word and the work He had already done in my life, I realized that I had placed my hope in my own strength and understanding. I had placed more value on my family than Him. Understanding this, I was able to shift my focus from the pain, guilt, and sorrow to the joy He had in store. It was then that I was able to truly worship Him regardless of the situation. In worshiping Him, I found joy, peace, and comfort.
In the six years that have passed since that time, He has proven to be faithful and trustworthy many times. He restored our daughter to us. He allowed her to finish school, find a husband, and become a mother. She, like each of us, is still a work in progress. But He is an eternal God who will see the work completed that He started in each of us (Philippians 1:6) and that is reason for joy!
We will take a break from our study series next week for Vacation Bible School. Please join us. We have classes for every age. VBS starts Sunday, July 22, 2018 at 6:00 PM.
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Things to Know: